Low Back Pain & Sciatica

This is the most common reason for people finding Chiropractic and there are many different causes of low back pain. It is thought that up to 80% of the population suffer from some form of back pain at some time in their lives.

Back Pain can be a debilitating problem leading to stress, anxiety and more back pain, many people find themselves in this seemingly never ending cycle. This can be especially problematic for the self-employed as more and more working days are lost due to back pain.

Why do you get back pain?

The spine is made up of 24 moving joints with a spongy cartilage disc in between. This is surrounded by ligaments, tendons and muscles all of which are able to give a pain signal.

Pain is simply a way of the body trying to prevent further injury by alerting you that there is a problem and trying to restrict the action that makes it worse.

Once pain is felt there is normally an underlying problem that is the cause. Simply by discovering and treating the cause Chiropractors are able to effectively reduce the pain and increase the motion of the spine.

I think I have sciatica?

Sciatica Pain concept with woman suffering from buttock pain

Sciatica is leg pain that comes from a lower back nerve. Normally this is caused by swelling in the lower back from an injury trapping one of the nerves that goes down the leg. Classic sciatica goes down the back of the leg to the foot but there are many variations. 

We test the nerves of the lower back to be sure of the exact nerve causing the issue, it can then usually be resolved by treating the joints in the lower back. 

Causes can range from a severe sprain to a disc bulge and we make sure to diagnose the issue before we treat you.

Why does back pain recur in episodes?

If you suffer back pain in episodes it is usually a sign of “functional instability”. This basically means that when you suffer a joint and ligament sprain the healing forms scar tissue in the area. This tissue is less elastic than normal tissue and so can break easily as it is weaker. Without specific exercises after an injury it has been shown that the deeper core muscles that support the spine won’t strengthen properly. This can lead into a pattern of pain episodes that are in the same area of the back.

How do I stop the episodes of back pain?

There are lots of treatments available for this. As chiropractors we first examine and diagnose the cause and effect of these episodes and then plan the treatment course that suits you best. This usually incorporates a mixture of spinal manipulation and core exercise work to strengthen the muscles of the lower back.

If I wait the pain goes away…

We’re glad you feel better after a while. However every time you have an episode of pain, the back becomes weaker. This can lead to a natural progression of the back pain, the more episodes you suffer the more likely you will keep suffering. The biggest factor in diagnosing and assessing the back is finding out how many episode there have been in the past. The more injuries the back has suffered the more likely there could be damage to the discs as recurrent injury to the same place is one reason for suffering a disc herniation (see slipped disc).

The lower back is the core of your spine. Daily activities like slouching and computer work, lifting children and gardening can all impact lower back health. To have a healthy spine you must have a flexible and strong back.

To help find that cause we offer:

  • A Private Consultation with the Doctor of Chiropractic
  • A Thorough Examination including Neurological, Orthopaedic & Blood Pressure Tests
  • X-Rays, if necessary
  • A Verbal Report of our Findings and thorough Explanation of the X-Rays

After which you should know more about your body and the problems you are experiencing than you ever have before. Whether you go ahead with treatment, as always, is entirely your decision.


Chou R, Huffman LH: Nonpharmacologic therapies for acute and chronic low back pain: a review of the evidence for an American Pain Society/American College of Physicians clinical practice guideline. Ann Intern Med 2007, 147:492-504.

Savigny P, Watson P, Underwood M: Early management of persistent non-specific low back pain: summary of NICE guidance. BMJ 2009, 338:b1805. Airaksinen O, Brox JI, Cedraschi C, Hildebrandt J, Klaber-Moffett J, Kovacs F, et al.: Chapter 4.

European guidelines for the management of chronic nonspecific low back pain. Eur Spine J 2006, 15(Suppl 2):S192-S300.

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